The Rhode Island House of Representatives is expected, this Tuesday, to approve a package of bills reshaping the state’s approach to economic development. House Speaker Gordon Fox and Governor Lincoln Chafee differ on how to move forward.
One of the House bills would replace the state Economic Development Corporation with a Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. It would establish a secretary of commerce, with the idea of making one person responsible for pursuing economic development.
Another bill would create an Executive Office of Commerce. Under the plan, the Commerce office would be responsible for many functions now done by separate state departments for administration, business regulation, and labor and training.
The House approach is at odds with Governor Chafee. He wants to keep thing they way they are, under the leadership of the EDC’s new director, Marcel Valois.
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